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Raiders 2019 draw snapshot

Here is all you need to know about the Canberra Raiders' 2019 Telstra Premiership draw.

Teams they play twice: Storm, Cowboys, Eels, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Roosters, Wests Tigers, Sharks, Warriors.

Teams they play once: Titans, Knights, Broncos, Rabbitohs, Bulldogs, Dragons.

Day-by-day breakdown: Thursday - One, Friday - Four, Saturday - Nine, Sunday – Ten.

Five-day turnarounds: 2 (Rd 2, Rd 20).

Kick-off: A slow start to the year, including a couple of last-ditch losses in the first two rounds to the Titans and Knights, proved extremely costly for the Green Machine last season. They kick off 2019 with three games against teams that didn’t make the playoffs - including the Gold Coast and Newcastle - plus a home meeting with Melbourne in round two.

Five key matches

Warriors (Round 20, Mt Smart Stadium): Canberra suffered two narrow defeats to the Warriors in 2018, including Shaun Johnson's great escape field goal in round three.Before that the Raiders could bank on the two points over their New Zealand rivals with four straight victories. A win here - particularly in another close contest - would be a genuine boost for Canberra's finals hopes.

Five key matchups of the Raiders' 2019 draw

Panthers (Round 8, McDonalds Stadium, Wagga Wagga): Four shock losses on the trot against the Panthers give Canberra enough motivation to turn the tide in a match-up where there is plenty of feeling. Past games have always brought out fiery clashes with three players sin-binned in the last three contests between these sides.

Roosters (Round 9, Suncorp Stadium): Canberra can put their hand up and say they maintained a perfect record against this year's premiers, with their round 23 performance showing they're more than capable on their day. The Raiders will want to test themselves against the premiers, while Roosters recruit Ryan Hall could do battle against fellow Englishmen Ryan Sutton, John Bateman and Josh Hodgson.

NRL Telstra premiership draw 2019

Sea Eagles (Round 7, Lottoland): There have been some close tussles between the two clubs over the last five years with field goals coming into play. An Aiden Sezer field goal in round 12 broke the shackles for the green machine after weeks of being on the other end of the scoreboard in the final minutes of games.

Sharks (Round 14, GIO Stadium): The touch judge incident of 2018 anyone? Ricky Stuart's comments sparked many of the Sharks players to come out and question Canberra's mentality of not playing to the whistle after the Raiders coach questioned both the match officiating and the NRL Bunker. While the Sharks may have forgotten about the events of that night at Shark Park, you can bet many of the Raiders players are yet to.

Toughest stretch: Rounds 19-22. Coming out of an Origin period that will likely result in little extra strain placed on the Green Machine, they head straight into a tricky run with trips to two of last year's finalists, Penrith and the Warriors, with just a five-day turnaround to recover from Penrith and head across the ditch. They return from Auckland straight into a home clash with the premiers, the Roosters, before another tricky road trip to the other grand final team, the Storm, at AAMI Park.

And another thing: In round eight, the Raiders will play Penrith in what will be their first game at McDonald’s Stadium in Wagga Wagga – just their second match in the city and first since 1985. They don't have a happy record taking on the Panthers in regional venues, with two heart-breaking late losses in Bathurst in 2016 and 2017. It will be a Raiders home game this time so the Green Machine will be hoping for a psychological boost there.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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